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Crowded Coast demands infrastructure.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2005

Tomorrow’s unveiling of the Beattie Government’s multi-billion infrastructure plan will reveal whether the crowded Coast prospers or perishes over the next decade.

Gold Coast Federal MP Steven Ciobo said it was time the Premier “put up or shut up” when it came to supporting Australia’s fastest growing city.

“Frankly, the State Government’s record on infrastructure funding for the Gold Coast has been woeful and it’s high time Premier Beattie put up or shut up,” Mr Ciobo said.

“Let our message be crystal clear - the Gold Coast demands to be put ahead of every other region in Queensland when it comes to infrastructure spending.

“We deserve to be the first priority because the Coast is in the midst of a population explosion which is only forecast to increase over the next decade.

“Premier Beattie has promoted this infrastructure plan as a major milestone of his seven years in power, so if he ignores his State’s fastest growing city it will be a farce,” he said.

Mr Ciobo said the Gold Coast was sick of being “slapped in the face” every time the Beattie Government announced new spending plans.

“Our city’s infrastructure is already lagging behind and tomorrow’s unveiling of Queensland’s new infrastructure plan may be our one and only chance to catch up,” he said.

The Federal Government has injected record amounts of funding into Queensland to help the growing State, including an extra $730 million in GST payments this year alone.

Plus, the Federal Government’s Auslink program has allocated Queensland another $1.6 billion to help fund much-needed road projects.

“The fact is the Beattie Government already has all the money it needs to build the necessary infrastructure to see us into the future,” Mr Ciobo said.

“So I don’t want to see the Premier using smoke and mirrors to play political games with the Federal Government tomorrow.”

The Federal Government is already spending record amounts on its own infrastructure responsibilities on the Gold Coast. For example:

• Griffith University received the highest allocation of new student places in Australia over the last two years.

• The tourism industry, the Gold Coast’s ‘lifeblood’, received record funding of almost $700 million, plus another $27 million for the Coast’s peak tourism research body.

• A new program to ensure around 80 percent of Gold Coast resident’s have broadband internet

Crowded Coast Demands Infrastructure

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Mr Ciobo said he would be examining tomorrow’s infrastructure announcement very carefully because the Gold Coast expected real money for real projects.


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